edwidge danticat's the dew breaker
another short summary brought to you by allergic rash: day three. this book of interconnected stories has been nominated for like every literary award, so i figured i'd check it out, and i certainly wasn't disappointed. the premise is that an adult daughter discovers that her father wasn't the past political prisoner she believed him to be--he was actually a guard in a prison, who took delight in torturing prisoners. most of the stories touch on these characters only indirectly, but read as a whole, they form a pretty compelling picture of a complicated family in a time of political turmoil.
i have vague recollections of writing a paper on papa doc and baby doc for a class in college on civil war and genocide, but knowledge of haiti's chaotic political situation isn't a prerequisite for enjoying danticat's tales.